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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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When I was at school a girl took a selfi of herself topless

Customer Question

When I was at school a girl took a selfi of herself topless and sent ti to my phone. I showed it to my mates and sent it to a couple of them. One of then passed it on and it went round the school. I apologised to her and she laughed it off and accepted my apology. We remained friends. At the time I was 16 and she had turned 17. We were both in the same year school. Later that year she came to my 17 birthday, and I went to her 18 later that year, and she came to my 18th the year after. The incident was never spoken about and has never been spoken since.
This happened 7 years ago and I am now 24 so she will be 25. With recent stories in the papers I am worried that at any time she can go to the police and make a complaint which means I could end up on a sex offenders list and ruin my career, my life everything. Where do I stand on this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Has she threatened to go to the police?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, I haven't seen her for years

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
In that case I would not worry. It is not as if you were 20 years older and made her take it. She took it and you did something foolish.
Given the history then nothing is likely to come if it. Even if it were you we're both very young and both foolish. She should never have taken it and sent it, you should not have shown it.
The criminal justice and courts act 2015 only came into effect in Monday and even then revenge porn was made illegal. You can't be prosecuted for something that was not illegal at the time when it happened.
Therefore on anyone's view I really would not worry about it,
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Was it not illegal as at the time she was 17

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
For you distribute it, maybe if it was classes as distribution of indecent material,
But revenge porn no, it was not illegal at the time,
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Could I be charged even though I was only 16

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Possible but very very unlikely.
Revenge porn only recently came in so no chance in relation to this.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

what's the worst case? Charged with distribution?.....what would the penalty be considering my age at that time....

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You really don't need to worry, this happened when you weee both kids.
If everyone was charged with this type of thing they did when they were younger the courts would be full.
You really do not need to be concerned.
I hope that reassures you.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the reassurance, but what is the worst case? At 16, could I be placed on the sex offenders register?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I really would not worry. It won't happen, it was historic and you were both very young.
The courts would be full of silly things.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You said earlier that 'You can't be prosecuted for something that was not illegal at the time when it happened' - was it not an illegal act, a 16 year old passing a topless picture of a 17 year old to a couple of his mates

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
In terms of revenge porn is
Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress. The images are sometimes accompanied by personal information about the subject, including their full name, address and links to their social media profiles.
This was not illegal at the time.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so, in 2007, you are saying I have not committed any crime, Revenge or otherwise, and therefore I cannot end up on the register by passing on a single picture...have I understood you correctly.

I understand my position regarding Revenge porn...... and I accept that I have not committed this crime.........

Have I committed any other crime......

Have I committed a crime which would put me on the Sex register.....

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No you have not.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Apologies, as I know I am pressing the issue.

Should this ever go to court, what is the worst sentence that could be received?

Would I be tried as a minor, and could I be placed on the SO Register?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You would be treated as a minor,
But you won't go to court because this was not an offence at the time.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Distribution of indecent material though, what sentence could that carry, as she was under 18?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
It wouldn't be in the public interest for a photo when you were young.
You really don't need to worry.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

What case law (decided cases) have you got to back this up....

what legal document can I look at to find this information.....

Are you looking at US law rather than UK law....

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I am a UK Solicitor so no I am not looking at USA law.
Its on the CPS own website.
You want to know worst case? Prison for 5 years.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Interesting.... Protection of Children Act in UK Law states

In proceedings under this Act [F3relating to indecent photographs of children]a person is to be taken as having been a child at any material time if it appears from the evidence as a whole that he was then under the age of 16.

As she was 17 and I 16 I think we will be ok

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes you will as I stated earlier.
Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am just following up on this. Is there anything else I can help with? If so, please let me know.
Alex.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The law has changed from the one I quoted above....so I am not happy with your reply. I went to a local solicitor where I live and they gave me a lot more information than you did. I am not entirely happy with the answers you gave so I would like a refund please. As you have spent some time on this I am willing to meet you half way....as gesture of good will, and when I get this I will rate you favourably

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